Pandora Stomp review by Korg

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  • Ease of Use: 1
  • Sound: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reviewer's score: 1 Junky
  • Users' score: 7.5 (8 votes)
Korg: Pandora Stomp

Price paid: $ 89

Purchased from: Sweetwater

Ease of Use — 1
It is almost impossible to get a good sound out of it. The factory presets are noisy with lots of hiss and hum and the noise reduction function is worthless. Editing the patches to come up with custom patches is equally difficult. It claims to be intuitive but that claim from the manufacturer is meaningless hype. The truth of the matter is that it is not intuitive in the least. The owners manual which comes with it is only about 38 pages in a booklet which is about 2 inches x 3 inches in size - so it isn't very detailed or clear in its instructions. 

There is downloadable software for editing patches on the Korg website - but it too is practically useless - having no instructions in how to write, copy or save edits to the stomp - either online or as a help function built into the software. And the functionality is limited. For example - one does not have the option to turn off the Amp sims - every setting requires some sort of amp sim and none of the sims provide a clean, undistorted sound. 

And if one wants to change from one patch to another in a song - fugetaboutit. The button acts as an on/bypass button only. To change patches, one has to scroll through using a flimsy flywheel on the side of the unit. In the final analysis, especially if one is wanting FX without distorted or overdriven sounds, that person would be better off skipping this and spending their money on something like the Zoom MD-70CDR.

Sound — 1
The sounds this makes are very poor. It has a lot of hiss and hum which I could not eliminate no matter how much i tried. The noise reduction function is worthless. In addition, it only offers a single 1/4" mono output. Every other multi-fx pedal I've ever used has some sort of stereo output. This also makes it worthless for things like any ping-pong delay or rotary speaker FX, which mandate a stereo out capacity. In addition, all the FX sound distorted and overdriven - even if one tries to bypass those functions.

Reliability & Durability — 1
I would question the durability of the unit. The housing [except for the bottom] is metal. The bottom/chassis, however, is a very cheap grade of plastic. So if one stomps on this, I do not expect it would hold up for very long. I am surprised Korg has managed to stay in this game for so long. Nothing they build seems to be designed for durability and heavy gigging. Given the other problems I have noted with this unit - which are inherent as design and firmware/software flaws, I cannot imaging anyone preferring this over better designed units from Boss, DigiTech or Zoom. Everything seems to be designed as gear novelties.

Overall Impression — 1
I play a type of music I call psychedelic country gospel - very much influenced instrumentally by The Beatles and The Byrds. I've been playing for 45 years. This is not a good match. It favors heavily distorted sounds and it is impossible to get a good clean sound to build custom patches on. Personally, I think this is overrated and a waste of money. There are better multi-FX pedals out there which are easier to edit patches with [the Zoom MD-70CDR comes to mind immediately] and are in the same price range. If this were stolen or lost, I would not grieve over it - except that will not be my problem since it is going back to Sweetwater as soon as I can arrange for an authorization for return.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Accurate review from Onesiphorus. You should expect nasty wasp in a can sounding digital distortion as generated by a microchip from this pedal and the compressor only has one setting. As a stand alone pedal it's no more than a practice toy. The pedals best use is to bypass all the preamp settings and use it for the delays, chorus, flanger and reverbs which are pretty nice. Place it in your pedal chain along with a decent valve distortion and a compressor and it will save you buying separate pedals. Worth picking one up second hand just for a reverb pedal, there will soon be loads around.